#22 Lauren Hill continues to inspire Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill gives thumbs-up as she holds the game ball during her first NCAA college basketball game against Hiram University at Xavier University in November (AP photos)
#22 Lauren Hill continues to inspire
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The Mount St. Joseph's women's basketball team held its postseason banquet in a Cincinnati hospital room. The event was warmed by Lauren Hill's smile.

The 19-year-old freshman made it through a full season while raising more than $1.3 million for research into the type of brain tumor that will likely end her life. She's occasionally hospitalized for treatment now. But she still holds on to each day as tightly as she can. And she urges others to appreciate their time together.

"That's truly Lauren," coach Dan Benjamin said in an interview. "That's the message she's been saying forever. She's just thankful God gave her that opportunity and that role. Because she's the one that could handle it. And she's done it so gracefully.

College player fights tumor for moment on court

"Even at the banquet, she comes in her wheelchair and she's all smiles. And that's truly amazing. I don't know what her pain level is or how much suffering she's going through. But the girl smiles every time she gets a chance."

Hill was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor during her senior year of high school. She decided to go ahead and attend college and play for the Division III school. The NCAA granted permission to move up the school's opening game because of her worsening condition. She made a layup for the first basket. The game was played at Xavier University's 10,000-seat arena in Cincinnati.

Hill was able to play in four games early in the season. She made five layups. As her condition worsened, she became an honorary coach. She came to games when possible. She tires easily now and needs to use a wheelchair often.

The team had planned to have its annual end-of-the-season banquet on Feb. 22. The date matches Hill's uniform number. But the final game got pushed back because of the weather. Hill was getting treated at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

So the team decided to take the banquet to the hospital. A meeting room was used. Instead of having a big meal and awards, the players got sandwiches and spent time together.

"We were going to get something to eat, show up, talk about the season and celebrate being with each other," Benjamin said.

The team wore special gray jerseys for the first game at Xavier's arena. The NCAA prohibits schools from giving gifts to players. So they bought them for $22. It was another way to support Hill's fundraising for cancer research. Hill signed each of the jerseys at the banquet.

Doctors didn't expect Hill to live this long with the tumor. It folds around parts of her brain.

"The first diagnosis was December, around Christmas time, which is why I went ahead and tried to get the first game moved up," Benjamin said. "But that's Lauren. Lauren's not going to let it beat her. She's going to keep fighting.

"Everybody thought she'd be this small, tiny voice instead of this big lion roar. She's done a great job with that. Everybody thought she'd get some money, but $1.3 million is amazing."

In a recent interview with WKRC-TV, Hill said, "Life is precious. ... Every moment you get with someone is a moment that's blessed, really blessed."

Critical thinking challenge: How did Lauren continue to participate on her team, without playing?

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COMMENTS (10)
  • samuelw-Hyl
    3/04/2015 - 12:04 p.m.

    I think this article was sad because this teenager made it through the whole season of college basketball and then was diagnosed with a tumor. I hope she gets better and will be able to play college basketball again NCAA. I HOPE SHE GETS BETTER.

  • kaylal-Hyl
    3/04/2015 - 12:05 p.m.

    I love love love this article. Its probably the best Ive read so far. I like how she stays strong even though she has a brain tumor. She is probably the most inspiring teen Ive ever read about or heard about. She is also the most courage's too. That is my comment on this article.

  • caitlynnk-Hyl
    3/05/2015 - 12:06 p.m.

    Go Hill i hope you feel better. I Realy liked this atrial I liked in the atrial how it said when ever Hill got a chance to smile she did. This was a beautifully story. More and more people should read this atrial. This was a incurring and innerspring atrial. Other kids in the hospital should read this so they know that they are not alone. It was so sweet of her team for giving up the awards and the fancy dinner and went to spend time together and with Hill and to go see her. I would want my team to do the same and i would do the same for my Friends and team. This was a beautifully atrial. Just beautifully.

  • remingtonm-war
    3/06/2015 - 01:57 p.m.

    What this girl is doing is truly inspiring and to raise as much as 1.3 million dollars is a huge accomplishment. With all that's going on she's still giving her time to help raise money for cancer. Everybody knew she would get money but this much is amazing.

  • bennies-war
    3/06/2015 - 01:58 p.m.

    its good that people that cant do all the stuff they want still have fun and do cool things instead of sitting home eating baked potatoes and butter.

  • gracet-war
    3/06/2015 - 01:59 p.m.

    This is a great story. She never took her life for granite, and entered everyday with a smile. She is truly and inspiration.

  • devanburritt-war
    3/06/2015 - 01:59 p.m.

    This is awesome, and im glad that she is still fighting for the sport she loves and not backing down to anything. She is very capable to play because sometimes when people have an illness they think the world is ending, no that's not true depending on what type of cancer you have and how you feel you are still very capable sometimes. Just keep trying and make sure you keep your held up high.

  • John0724-YYCA
    3/06/2015 - 09:38 p.m.

    She is really blessed if she keeps a positive position when most people should be in a negative position if they are in Lauren Hill's condition because she has some brain disease or something that hurts very much. She is a real good teammate if she shows up to games and tries to participate even though she is in a horrible and rough condition right now and she made 1.3 million dollars just for showing up to games which is amazing. CRITICAL THINKING CHALLENGE: How did Lauren continue to participate on her team, without playing? ANSWER: She kept the disease and fought it herself.

  • ashleighb-Hyl
    3/09/2015 - 11:59 a.m.

    This article was very interesting. I learned that you should never give up even if there is a big problem. It sounds like Hill has a lot of fans. I can't believe they raised $1.3 million. It was a good idea to use the number 22 on important dates and things because that was Hill's number on her basketball jersey. This article is very interesting I give this article a thumbs up! :)

  • peytoni-Hyl
    3/09/2015 - 12:02 p.m.

    I thought the article was amazing. Lauren is participate on her team, without playing by setting up fundraiser to support her team. Also, by raising 1.3million dollars.

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